You can make yourself more attractive to the college admissions board and future employers by taking the right high school classes.
Meeting Course Requirements
Most colleges require incoming students to complete:
- Four years of English
- Three years of math, including algebra II and geometry
- Three years of history or social science
- Two years of laboratory science
- Two years of a foreign language
Boosting Your Skills
Colleges want to see that you've challenged yourself. Some competitive schools would prefer a B in a college-level history class than an A in a regular one. Be careful not to take on too much, though.
Getting Good Grades
Colleges are interested in your class rank and grade point average (GPA). Making the honor roll at your high school is always a good move, but if you rank at the top of your class and didn't take tough courses, colleges will notice.
Participating After School
Participation in school and community activities arms you with skills that will be valuable in your future. Give yourself the chance to expand on your talents, develop socially, and acquire some leadership skills.
Working Before College
Jobs and internships can help you try out a potential career while you earn money and experience for college.
Taking Time Off
Some students take a year off between high school and college for many reasons. Think of what you could do:
- Travel to places you have never been.
- Volunteer for a political campaign.
- Work full time to help pay for college.
- Go abroad to perform charity work.
- Intern at an archaeological dig.
Take on projects that broaden your experience. As much as you can, make your time away from school count so you can demonstrate to college admissions boards that you have been productive.
Taking Entrance Exams
Once you've taken stock of your strengths and qualifications, you'll need to decide which standardized tests you'll need if college is your plan.